If you are reading this page, there is no need to remind you of public service warnings like “you booze, you cruise, you lose.” Each year “you lose” means that, with public pressure, the New Mexico legislature enacts stiffer and stiffer laws that increase both minimum and maximum penalties for those convicted of Driving Under the Influence DUI  also known as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). In recent years, the police have been arresting other passengers in the car with a DUI driver and charging them as parties to a crime.

In New Mexico, what are the consequences if you are found guilty of DUI? If convicted, the mandatory minimum penalties are severe even if your lawyer persuades the prosecutor and the judge not to impose any greater sentence. Sometimes the lawyer will find a legal error in the case requiring dismissal of the DUI charge, and on occasion the defense will be strong enough to proceed either to a jury trial or a bench trial.

Sometimes the prosecutor will consider dropping an aggravated DUI down to a simple DUI, or a second or third DUI offense down to a first or second, in order to lower the mandatory minimums. Often lesser charges will be dismissed by agreement of the parties and, on some occasions, the judge will consider electronic monitoring instead of a mandatory jail sentence. In borderline cases the lawyer may be able to negotiate for a “deferred to dismissal” plea which means if you complete the terms of probation the charges would be dismissed off of your record for employment purposes. Here are some of the minimums; click any underlined term for more information:

If you are suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence). The specific crime is also called DWI (driving while intoxicated), OUI (operating under the influence), or OWI (operating while intoxicated). Different names but basically the same crime. A DUI conviction has serious consequences (for example, losing your driving privileges); but an experienced DUI attorney can often get the charges dropped or reduced, or may be able to negotiate lesser penalties depending on your circumstances and your past history.

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